By Mike Smith
Ally Darling (Faris) is having a bad day. Having just gotten fired from a job she really didn’t like her day gets worse when she picks up a magazine and reads that the average woman will have 10.5 lovers in her life before she finds Mr. Right. Surprised to read this, Ally quickly totals up the men of her past, a list which includes a step-cousin and a boy next door that she only refers to as “that creepy puppet guy.” When a drunken one night stand puts Ally at the magic number of 20 (according to the article, after 20 it’s all downhill), she resolves to revisit the men of her past, convinced that one of them HAS to be her soul mate.
Featuring two winning performances, “What’s Your Number?” is a comedy that is sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, depending on your tastes. Faris, who has built a career as the cute, spunky girl in films like “The House Bunny” and “Yogi Bear,” as well as the “Scary Movie” films, shines her as a comedienne of the first order. Surprisingly as funny is co-star Evans, who plays her horn-dog neighbor, Colin. So serious as Captain America, Evans shows a talent for comedy I didn’t expect. As a man who believes the perfect relationship ends at breakfast, Colin agrees to help Ally track down her previous lovers. Of course, as the search progresses it becomes clearly obvious that the two are meant for each other. However, fearing the stigma of #21, Ally won’t budge on the idea.
Based on the book “20 Times a Lady,” the screenplay, by veteran television writers Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittendon, has some funny moments. Flashbacks of Ally and her previous lovers are often hilarious, including her encounter with “creepy puppet guy!” There are also moments that are cringe-worthy. Note to Hollywood: Just because films like “The Hangover” and “Bridesmaids” were successful doesn’t mean that having characters yell “Vagina” every few minutes is funny. It usually isn’t.
On the plus side, the stars do their best to rise above the material. And the supporting cast, including Danner, Ari Graynor and Ed Begley, Jr, are equally strong. Director Mylod, who knows his way around an ensemble cast thanks to his work on “Entourage,” keeps the film moving smartly. If only he had been given a script equally smart.